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Smart Factory Institute, EPB Talk Electric Cars, Supply Chain Issues

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Today, EPB presented an electronic vehicle battery innovations conference at the TDOT Administration building.

Industry manufacturers and innovators were brought together to discuss developments in electric vehicle technology and solutions to supply chain problems.

“What this is is to talk about opportunities and innovations with the electronic vehicles and manufacturing that is either just coming to the area or potentially coming to the area,” said Mary Beth Hudson, Executive Director of the Smart Factory Institute.

According to representatives from the conference, companies such as Tritium and Novonix are investing billions of dollars in Tennessee for the production of electric vehicle battery materials.

“We really will be at the center of the electronic vehicle manufacturing in the United States, here in the Chattanooga area,” Hudson said.

A prominent presence at the conference was the local branch of the Smart Factory Institute, whose goal is to address supply issues by providing resources to manufacturers.

“Sixty percent of manufacturers have less than twenty employees, and ninety percent of manufacturers have less than one hundred employees, and they just don’t have the resources to implement the new technology, and that is exactly what the smart factory institute is looking to do,” said Denise Rice, CEO of Peak Performance Inc.

The Smart Factory Institute focuses on smaller manufacturers, which provide materials to their larger counterparts.

“We’re really focused on the small to medium sized manufacturers, because because of their relationship to the larger manufacturers and being part of the supply chain,” Rice said.

By the time the conference ended at 3:30, experts from Oak Ridge National Lab, TVA, TDOT, and other entities had offered their expertise on electronic vehicles and supply chain issues.

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